Get Guidelines for Formatting Your Cover Letter

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When you are applying for employment, how you format your cover letter is important because that letter is how you are going to make the best impression on the employer. A letter without the correct spacing between paragraphs or with too much information or too much text on a page is going to look cluttered.

How your letter is formatted is almost as important as what you say in your cover letters because if your letter isn't easy to read, it can knock you out of contention for a job.

A cover letter with sufficient white space, a simple font, and with the appropriate salutation and closing will make the best impression on the reader.

Here's information on cover letter formatting guidelines including setting page margins, choosing a font style and size, paragraph and section spacing, and more tips on how to format cover letters for employment.

Cover Letter Formatting Guidelines

The easiest way to format a letter is to write the letter first, then format it. Once you have all the content (contact information, why you are applying and qualified, signature, etc.) on the page, you can then easily adjust the margins, font, and alignment.

  • Cover Letter Contact SectionHow you include your contact information will vary based on how you are sending your cover letter. If you are uploading or mailing a letter, put the information at the top of the page. With an email cover letter, your contact information should be below your signature.
  • Cover Letter SalutationA salutation is the greeting you include at the beginning of a cover letter. Here's how to write a salutation, including what to use if you don't have the name of a contact person to list.
  • Cover Letter BodyThe body of a cover letter includes the sections where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job for which you are applying. Here's what to include in each section or your letter.
  • Paragraphs and Bulleted ListsA more traditional cover letter contains written paragraphs describing your qualifications. Another option is to include a bulleted list of the specific qualifications you have for the job.
  • Cover Letter ClosingsWhen you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job it's important to close your cover letter in a professional manner. Here's how to close your letter with class.
  • Cover Letter SignatureInformation on what to include in the signature of a cover letter when sending cover letter documents or email cover letters, along with sample signatures for both types of letters.

Formatting Your Cover Letter

Once you have all the relevant information written in your letter, it's time to format it. Here's how to set margins, choose a font and space your letter correctly.

More Formatting Tips

  • Sample Cover Letter FormatThe following cover letter format lists the information you need to include in the cover letter you submit with your resume. Use this cover letter format as a guideline to create customized cover letters to send to employers.
  • More Tips on How to Format a Cover LetterYour cover letters should follow the basic format of a typical business letter and should address three general issues including why you are writing, what you have to offer and how you will follow up.
  • Cover Letter Writing GuidelinesCover letter guidelines including what to include in a cover letter, sections of a cover letter, and examples of cover letters.